I’d say I’m now a novice, not beginner, machine knitter. I’ve had my standard-gauge 1980’s Brother 950i for over a year now and I can cast on and off, decrease, and increase, as well as use a ribber ( you need a separate ribber to do any stitches in rib) reasonably competently.
My original idea was to use the machine to fulfil those moments when my desire for a knitted item was out of sync with my ability (time wise) to make it. I love hand knitting, but I’m quite slow and find I start to hurt if I do too much.
That was the plan.
I knew that a knitting machine opens up a massive new avenue of opportunities to knit fast, to do stranded colour work easily (fair isle) as well as to knit lace and other stitches not available to hand knitters. Counterbalancing that is it’s inability to do certain knit/purl combinations easily and it’s steep learning curve.
So far I’ve made a few lovely scarves and a few less lovely items of clothing, which I wouldn’t want to share on this blog. I’m now ready for a new challenge, so my next item, I think, will be a machine knitted version of this lovely.
The pattern is free, from these people Hedgehog Fibres Outline Shawl and is basically 2 rows.
The first row
k5, yo, k8, ssk, k5, k2tog, k8, yo
The second row
There’s a 5 stitch garter stitch selvedge at both sides which is going to be troublesome.
I’ve looked into using the lace transfer carriage to do all of the transfers, but since you can only transfer one stitch at a time on each row and there’s 18 stitches to transfer it’s not really going to help, time-wise. The garter stitch rows will probably have to be changed too, since I’ve tried the garter bar and it’s a tricky beast.
So, it looks, possibly, like a very labour intensive project.
But still faster than hand knitting.
I still have to work out an alternative to the garter stitch, especially to stop the edges from curling.
I’m going to swatch next to see how it goes. Wish me luck!